Dr Adam Mosley

About Me

I read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University as an undergraduate, studying physics, chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology, before deciding that I preferred libraries and museums to laboratories. After studying for an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science, I embarked on a PhD in the history of early modern astronomy. I was Jane Eliza Proctor Fellow at Princeton University, 1999-2000, and a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, 2000-2004, with an affiliation to the Cambridge University Department of History and Philosophy of Science. I have retained that affiliation since arriving in Swansea in January 2004.

I served on the Council of the British Society for the History of Science between 2006 and 2009, and was Reviews Editor for British Journal for the History of Science from mid-2010 until mid-2015.

I was a Visiting Fellow at CRASSH (Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities) and Wolfson College, of the University of Cambridge, in Michaelmas Term 2007. During the academic year 2015-2016, I shall be a Dibner Research Fellow in the History of Science & Technology at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.

Areas of Expertise

  • early modern astronomy
  • early modern science
  • cosmography
  • book history
  • history of museums
  • material culture of the sciences


  1. After Tycho: Philippist astronomy and cosmology in the work of Brahe’s Scandinavian assistants. In Ole Peter Grell & Andrew Cunningham (Ed.), Medicine, natural philosophy and religion in post-Reformation Scandinavia. Aldershot: Ashgate.
  2. & Christoph Rothmann's Discourse on the Comet of 1585: An Edition and Translation with Accompanying Essays. Leiden: Brill.
  3. & 'Astronomy and Astrology'. In Philip Ford (†), Jan Bloemendal and Charles Fantazzi (Ed.), Brill's Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World. (pp. 667-677). Leiden: Brill.
  4. 'Past Portents Predict: Cometary Historiae and Catalogues in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries'. In Dario Tessicini and Patrick J. Boner (Ed.), Celestial Novelties on the Eve of the Scientific Revolution 1540-1630. (pp. 1-32). Florence: Leo S. Olschki.
  5. 'Reading the Heavens: Observation and Interpretation of Astronomical Phenomena in Learned Letters c. 1600'. In van Miert, Dirk (Ed.), Communicating Observations in Early Modern Letters (1500-1675): Epistolography and Epistemology in the Age of Scientific Revolution. (pp. 115-134). London: The Warburg Institute.

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  • HI-M01 Historical Methods and Approaches

    This module provides training in advanced historical research. It is designed to introduce students to methods of historical investigation, writing, and presentation, and to important historical resources (including archives, collections of sources, and museums). Attention will be given to the use of IT in historical work work as well as more traditional paper-based methods.

  • HI-M38 New Departures in the Writing of History

    This module provides an introduction to advanced historiography. It is designed to develop students’ awareness of traditional historiographical concerns alongside their knowledge current trends and new directions in writing and thinking about the past.

  • HI-M39 Research Folder

    This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.

  • HI-M80 Directed Reading in History

    Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.

  • HIHD00 Heritage Dissertation (Practice-Based)

    This module affords students the opportunity to complete their MA in Heritage Management by working with and for a heritage organisation. The work for that organisation during the placement period is documented in a reflective portfolio, submitted in place of an academic dissertation.

  • HIHD01 Heritage Dissertation (Written)

    Students produce a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a heritage topic, chosen and developed in conjunction with their supervisor.

  • HIHM04 Heritage Work Placement

    The Heritage Research Folder supports students proposing to complete their MA in Heritage Management with an academic dissertation, by helping them to identify a research topic, develop the requisite methodological approaches, and plan their work. Each student attends a series of four personal (one-to-one) tutorials with their dissertation supervisor. The series of tutorials is followed by a conference, attended by all students taking the module, at which research proposals are presented and discussed.


  • British gardens, c.1550-c.1650. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Professor Deborah Youngs
  • Calculating Value: Using and Collecting the Tools of Early Modern Mathematics (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Professor David Turner